Is He There? Does He Care?
Do you ever wonder if Jesus knows about your situation? Or, if He does care, why He doesn’t do something about it?
This week, on my way home from an appointment, I turned into a Walmart parking lot to pick up a few items. At the front of the lot, a green mini van with the doors open caught my attention. A man dressed in shorts and a t-shirt stood next to the van holding a hand-written, cardboard sign that read, “We need food and money for our family. May God bless you.” Then, a small child, scrambled through the open side door. Suddenly, that little family in crisis took over my thoughts.
On my way out of the store, I purchased two sub sandwiches and bottles of water. As I approached the mini van and the man holding the sign, I saw the whole story through the open side door. A dark-haired, pretty woman sat snuggling a newborn. Two small, dark-haired preschoolers crawled over her and greeted me with smiles. The woman looked up at me.
“I’d like for you to have these,” I said, handing over the sandwiches and water to her. “How can I help?”
She quickly explained their situation. “We are not homeless. We are on our way to Florida. I have family there. My husband tried to find work in Michigan, but it was too difficult. Now he will try in Florida. It is warmer there all year.”
I handed the man some crumpled money. He nodded and said, “God bless you. Please, pray for us.”
“Can I pray for you, now?” I asked, looking from one to the other.
“Yes, yes,” he encouraged me.
Laying a hand on each of their shoulders, I asked Jesus to show their family favor and to help them. The woman gave me a tired but appreciative smile as I turned away. Back in my car, I sorted through the scene in that little mini van. I wondered about their journey. His lost job. Their new baby. Their decision to return home. Those two little girls. That tired mother.
As I pulled onto the main road, I couldn’t stop thinking about that woman. I cried freely for a few minutes, remembering a time when we had faced financial challenges. Arriving home to find our front porch filled with groceries. Grocery store gift cards given anonymously. A gift that arrived in time to pay a bill. A landlord who had deferred rent payments.
The next day, I read these words, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” (Isaiah 40:11 NIV) The words were written for a group in exile, refugees wondering if they would ever get back home and if God still loved them.
He’s there. He cares. Keep your faith rooted.